The Department of Foreign Affairs is seriously considering the evacuation of all Filipinos in Myanmar, if it is still possible, following deadly clashes between the military and the protesters seeking the release of detained government leaders, including State Counsellor Daw Aung Suu Kyi.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the DFA would issue another advisory to Filipinos in Myanmar to consider leaving as soon as they could due to escalating violence between the military and the pro-democracy supporters of Suu Kyi.
“@DFAPHL will issue the same advisory to our citizens which we have already started evacuating,” Locsin made the statement after the Singaporean government advised its citizens in Myanmar to consider leaving the country, citing rapidly escalating clashes and rising civilian casualties. The Singaporeans were also advised to defer all travel to Myanmar.
Last February 15, the DFA repatriated 139 Filipinos through a special flight from Yangon days after the military grabbed power and ousted former Nobel Peace prize winner Suu Kyi and other government officials.
Locsin earlier said those remaining Filipinos in Myanmar who wanted to go back to the Philippines should gather themselves together so the DFA and the Philippine Embassy in Yangon can arrange another flight.
On Wednesday, reports showed that nearly 40 people were killed as a result of the military and police violent crackdown against anti-coup protesters in several towns and cities in Myanmar.
Virtually condemning the shooting of civilians joining pro-democracy protests in Myanmar, Locsin said: “It is plain indecent for soldiers to shoot civilians.”
“That’s against the law of nations and the honor of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). We don’t do that for any reason,” Locsin said, in a separate tweet.
The DFA data showed that there are about 1,000 Filipinos who are still in Myanmar.